There are many different trends that seem to gain popularity and then they die out very quickly. Other trends seem to stick around, even if they have been shown to be dangerous. Often, they are fueled by celebrities, who take part in the practice and pictures are posted of them around the internet. Many people will follow those trends, even if they know they could be dangerous.
One trend that has been around for a very long time is getting a tattoo. Over the years, it has gone in and out of style but there has always been a segment of society that enjoys having them. In some cases, getting tattoos has become a way of life and it is difficult to find any room to add more on their body.
For those who would like a tattoo but don’t want to go all in on a permanent mark, there is the option of a temporary, black henna tattoo. Unfortunately, it could come with a side effect you didn’t bargain for. That is what happened to this 7 year old girl who recently got a black henna tattoo. Her family was on vacation at a 4 star hotel in Egypt and she asked her dad if she could get one. It wasn’t long after she got the tattoo that she started complaining about itching and soon, painful blisters started to show.
This young girl, Madison, was taken to a burns unit so the blisters could be cut away. After the procedure, she had scars all over her arm. It seems that there are toxic levels of a chemical die in black henna tattoos. That chemical is paraphenylenediamine or PPD and it is illegal for use on the skin.
He father said: “She is potentially scarred for life after getting a black henna tattoo. The tattoo was done in the hotel’s salon and they claim it’s not the henna and that it’s my daughter’s skin. She has blisters from her finger to her elbow and is in so much pain.”
He continued, “We were entirely unaware of the dangers and I think they should warn of this in the brochures. I think it’s partly my fault because I didn’t know about it, but also the fault of the salon because they are using dangerous chemicals on children. We would have thought that the travel agents would have had concerns about this.”
This family wants their story to be told so it doesn’t happen to another child. It seems that the mother had suffered a gall bladder infection and had to be rushed to the hospital. The children were so well behaved that he let them get a black henna tattoo as a reward.
Madison’s brother, Sebastian, also complained of itching. His tattoo was scrubbed off right away but when Madison’s skin started to blister, they rushed her to the hospital.
Doctors discovered they were chemical burns after finding a high pH level in the blisters. They removed the blisters to help the skin underneath heal. After it was done, she was referred to a scar management unit. She needs to wear a pressure bandage for 6 months to minimize the scars.
Doctor Chris Flower, Director General of the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association warned the public about black henna tattoos. He explained, “PPD is safely and legally used in permanent hair dyes where clear instructions are given, and where the maximum level is controlled by law. But black henna often contains PPD at high levels, to give a dark color quickly. When applied to the skin in the form of a black henna temporary tattoo, PPD can cause chemical burns and lead to allergic reactions.”
Dr. Flower added, “Real henna is never black, but is orange-brown.” Lisa Bickerstaffe from the British Skin Foundation said, “Check the color if a product is described as ‘henna.’ Henna is an orange-red color, so if you are offered a temporary tattoo with ‘black henna’ it isn’t actually true henna. If in doubt, stay away.”
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